News

CS cohort to lead Data Systems revolution at Berkeley

Recently hired Prof. Jelani Nelson and Assistant Profs. Raluca Ada Popa, Joseph Gonzalez,  Alvin Cheung, Aditya Parameswaran, and Natacha Crooks, have joined veteran Profs. Joseph Hellerstein and Ion Stoica to form a new cohort of faculty at Berkeley who will conduct academic research into systems to analyze and manage data.   The group, which also includes IEOR Assistant Prof. Barna Saha, will focus on diverse facets of data systems, from protecting data security, to developing systems for massively-scalable machine learning, to working with data distributed across the globe.  “Data systems have become the foundation not only of computer science, but of modern society.  And they are changing fast,” said Hellerstein. “This amazing new cohort is evidence of Berkeley’s commitment to drive diverse innovation and train the next generation of data systems engineers.”

Two EECS papers win 2019 ACM SIGPLAN Distinguished Paper Awards

Two papers co-authored by Berkeley EECS authors won ACM SIGPLAN Distinguished Paper Awards at the Conference on Object-Oriented Programming, Systems, Languages, and Applications (OOPSLA) 2019.  "Duet: An Expressive Higher-Order Language and Linear Type System for Statically Enforcing Differential Privacy" co-authored by Prof. Dawn Song (Ph.D. '02, advisor: Doug Tygar), graduate student Lun Wang, undergraduate researcher Pranav Gaddamadugu, and alumni Neel Somani (CS B.A.  '19), Nikhil Sharma (EECS B.S. '18/M.S. '19),  and Alex Shan (CS B.A. '18), along with researchers in Vermont and Utah, and "Aroma: Code Recommendation via Structural Code Search" co-authored by Prof. Koushik Sen (along with authors at Facebook and UC Irvine), won two of the five honors awarded at the top programming language conference, part of the ACG SIGPLAN conference on Systems, Programming, Languages, and Applications: Software for Humanity (SPLASH) in October.  

Dawn Song is building a world where data privacy exists online

CS alumna and Prof. Down Song (Ph.D. '02, advisor: Doug Tygar) is the subject of a New York Times article titled "Building a World Where Data Privacy Exists Online."  One of the world’s foremost experts in computer security and trustworthy artificial intelligence, Song founded a startup called Oasis Labs to build a new platform based a paradigm in which people control their data and are compensated for its use by corporations.  She and her colleagues believe that by marrying specialized computer chips and blockchain technology, they can build a system that provides greater scalability and privacy protection.  This year, Song made the Wired25  list top 25 innovators as well as Inc.'s second annual Female Founders 100 list as a "Money Mover."

Berkeley to host Art + Nature Symposium this weekend

Design Innovation from Nature, a new collaboration among the Colleges of Environmental Design, Letters & Science, and Engineering at Berkeley, will be holding an Art + Nature Symposium co-hosted by the University of Tokyo this weekend, November 9-10, 2019.   The symposium will explore how biological models stimulate the curiosity of today’s designers and researchers, and will bring together various lectures by experts from the fields of art, architecture, mathematics, chemistry, engineering, robotics, and biology.  Two of the lectures will by EECS Profs. Ron Fearing and Robert Full.

Ming Wu wins 2020 IEEE EDS Robert Bosch MEMS Award

EE Prof. Ming Wu has been named the 2020 recipient of the IEEE Electron Devices Society (EDS) Robert Bosch Micro and Nano Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS) Award.  The award was established in 2014 "to recognize and honor advances in the invention, design, and/or fabrication of micro- or nano- electromechanical systems and/or devices" with the proviso that individual contributions "be innovative and useful for practical applications."  Wu was selected "For pioneering contributions in MEMS optical switches and optoelectronic tweezers.”

2019 ACM SIGOPS Mark Weiser Award

Ion Stoica wins ACM SIGOPS Mark Weiser Award

Ion Stoica has won the ACM SIGOPS Mark Weiser Award. Created in 2001 by ACM SIGOPS, the award is named in honor of Mark Weiser, a computing visionary recognized for his research accomplishments during his career at Xerox PARC. Recipients are selected for “contributions that are highly creative, innovative, and possibly high-risk, in keeping with the visionary spirit of Mark Weiser.”

Prof. Raluca Ada Popa

Raluca Ada Popa named a visionary in MIT TR's list of 35 Innovators Under 35

Raluca Ada Popa has been named a Visionary in the MIT Technology Review's list of 35 Innovators Under 35.  Popa found a way to make computation on encrypted data practical.  Her systems secure computers by making data indecipherable to intruders instead of just relying on firewalls to keep them out.  She says her encryption techniques allow systems to operate as if they’ve been blindfolded. They’re able to compute on data without actually seeing it—which is opening the cybersecurity field to a host of new applications.  Her innovations are in use by companies like IBM.

Dawn Song and Hany Farid make WIRED25 list of innovators for 2019

CS Profs Dawn Song and Hany Farid are among Wired Magazine's list of 25 People Who Are Racing to Save Us (WIRED25 list of innovators for 2019). Song is the co-founder and CEO of Oasis Labs, a startup built around differential privacy—cryptographic techniques that allow companies to incorporate data into their algorithms without seeing the individual data points.   Song believes blockchain technology can help offer a secure home for data that doesn’t require trusting any one company with the keys to it.   Her system would enable you to copy your medical data to a location where researchers who are working to cure diseases could access it without compromising your privacy.  Farid is a pioneer of image science, having been one of the first to develop methods to detect when digital photos have been manipulated. He is now one of the leading authorities on Deepfakes: images, videos, or audio files fabricated or altered by machine learning.  Lately, Deepfakes have been used to mislead and manipulate the public during politicial elections.  “This used to be a boutique little field, but now we’re defending democracy,” says Farid.

New Course Takes Data Science to the Next Level

A data science course introduced this semester gives students the chance to delve into concepts and research that are rarely, if ever, offered at the undergraduate level. Data 102, which is being taught by CS Prof. Michael Jordan and Statistics Prof. Fernando Perez, builds on earlier data science courses by not only teaching students the “how to” of Data 100 and the “finding patterns” of Data 8, but also the applications, specifically in relation to decision making in the context of other decision makers and sequences of decisions. Students learn to use data to make decisions even when faced with uncertainty.  “There is no other class that brings statistics, computing, and real world problems together in such an embrace” Jordan said.

"Oracle-Guided Component-Based Program Synthesis" wins 2020 ICSE Most Influential Paper Award

The paper "Oracle-Guided Component-Based Program Synthesis," co-authored by alumnus Susmit Jha (M.S./Ph.D. '11), Sumit Gulwani (Ph.D. '05, advisor: George Necula), EECS Prof. Sanjit A. Seshia, and Ashish Tiwari--and part of Susmit Jha's Ph.D. dissertation advised by Sanjit Seshia--will receive the 2020 Most Influential Paper Award by the ACM/IEEE International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE). ICSE is the premier conference on software engineering and this award recognizes the paper judged to have had the most influence on the theory or practice of software engineering during the 10 years since its original publication. The citation says, in part, that the paper: "...has made a significant impact in Software Engineering and beyond, inspiring subsequent work not only on program synthesis and learning, but also on automated program repair, controller synthesis, and interpretable artificial intelligence."